FT Innovate London - An audience is asked to "become" Slime Mould and experience collective behaviour (Credit: Heather Barnett)

Welcome to the ialeUK summer newsletter. A common theme has emerged for this edition (purely by accident I may add), of the need to look beyond the typical viewpoint. This might be to do with using a different set of tools, to map ecosystem services or enable the need of communities to be properly captured, the topic of a recent ialeUK workshop. It might happen to relate to a different relationship with water in the city; rather than the silo mentality, cities must embrace a holistic perspective in order to improve water quality along with improving people's well-being and biodiversity benefits.

There is scientific evidence here too, as we find out in the article about network science, a topic that was rated top of the opinion poll at a Green Sky Thinking event, organised by Temple Group earlier this year. Science has also been used to understand the value of roundabouts for invertebrates and small-scale heterogeneity for fish in urban rivers. As a consultant, I find the term “site” so often misleading. Wildlife and ecologically processes do not take any regard for "our" boundaries and nor are development impacts confined to the site! In addition, the current legal framework warps ecological values into those species that matter and those that don’t. On a more positive note, the article on biodiversity offsetting envisages an improvement for nature by assesing the value of existing habitats.

Like me, I hope you find food for thought in the articles. Please feedback any thoughts - I am always open to new perspectives.

Photo: FT Innovate London, 2015 - An audience is asked to "become" a Slime Mould and experience collective behaviour (Credit: Heather Barnett)